We are here to look at some of the best cognac brands on the market and see why they stand out from others. Cognac is a brandy named after the commune in France where it was invented.
To be a cognac, it should be twice-distilled in copper stills, then kept in oak casks for two years (at least). Because of these designations, Cognac has had a reputation as an expensive or fancy spirit and therefore has not been the first choice when selecting a liquor from the shelf—but it can be.
Here is a quick recap of our top cognac brands:
Some brand names that we will cover today may be at your local shop. While others might be harder to find (either on the web or at a specialty liquor store). These brands and their assortment of options will range in price, flavor, and quality. We’ll get into that more later.
But for now, sit back as we take you through the world of Cognac.
The Best Cognac Brands To Drink in 2022
Here’s our list of cognac brands on the market today.
The first Cognac we will look at today is one that you probably recognize the best, but why is Hennessy the most-popular Cognac?
First of all, it is the cheapest. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a quality brand. Hennessy is good on its own or mixed into any brandy cocktail. Hennessy is a VS Cognac, or “Very Special.” This means that it is aged somewhere between two and eight years, so it will have a bolder profile than cognacs that have been aged longer.
Hennessy’s taste is burly and smooth with a spiciness. It has notes of oak (from the casks), toffee, and grape.
Bisquit & Dubouché
Bisquit & Dubouché is a unique cognac in that it is so versatile. Its classic name is quite common and another that you’ve probably seen around. Its uniqueness comes from how it is distilled, creating a high level of Cognac with a smooth delivery and aromatic presence.
With notes of dark fruit, vanilla, caramel, honey, and fig, Bisquit & Dubouché is a great cognac for top-tier cocktails, as well as over some ice or neat. This is truly a must-try cognac on the list.
Hine is known for its sweeter quality. It has floral notes as well as citrus, cinnamon, and grape. For a smooth, fresh, and gentle drink.
On the nose, the drink has hints of citrus fruits, oak, and vanilla. Then it turns to a creamier, spicier flavor while retaining the oak and fruit. Each bottle has aged between 6 and 12 years.
If you have doubts about how good Hine is, just know that the brand is also a cognac supplier for the British Royal Family.
Martell Cognac is arguably one of the longest-standing histories in Cognac, and with great reason. For 300 years they’ve made a warm and spiced Cognac brand with notes of stonefruit, honey, chocolate, and vanilla.
The awarded brand just arrived in the US, so many cognac lovers will be impressed by Martell whether it’s served neat, over ice, with soda water, or mixed. The drink is best served at room temperatures or colder to keep its intended flavor balance.
Meukow is a Russian brand of Cognac that brings a unique approach to the spirit. Their VS line of cognacs has an aged complexity that lends to a better sipping cognac than Meukow 90, which is younger, fresher, and more suitable for cocktails.
Depending on if you choose the VS, 90, or one of their other cognacs, you will find a different balance of vanilla, honey, licorice, citrus, and oak notes. Meukow is known and awarded for this assortment of cognac types, and the quality that each of them brings to the table—a must-have for any Cognac lover’s cabinet.
Courvoisier is a cognac meant to be sipped on neat or with minimal water added. It is known for its smoothness and deep, well-rounded flavor, including notes of stone fruit, almond, raisin, spice, and oak.
Though Courvoisier is to be drunk straight, adding water to it can bring out additional earthy notes. When blended into a cocktail, its flavor is so recognizable that it will cut through and make for a signature drink, no matter what is added.
On top of all of this, the 12-year aged Courvoisier 12-year aged Courvoisier is an affordable cognac to keep on hand.
Rémy Martin has made a reputation for itself for its elegant taste and presentation. It’s not the most expensive brand on the market either—a good choice already all around.
There is a velvet quality to the cognac, and it goes down easily. The flavor profile on the other hand is complex yet subtle, with notes of vanilla, oak, apricot, apple, and florals. On the palate, you taste licorice, fruit, spice, and ginger.
Rémy Martin is dynamic and can be used in cocktail environments, as well as to sip.
Pierre Ferrand has a unique reason behind its flavor: its age. Each bottle has aged for an average of ten years, much higher than its competitors.
Its flavor profile includes orange, green tea, wood, spice on the nose. In the palette, the profile takes on citrus, vanilla, almond, black pepper, fruit, and pastry.
Pierre Ferrand is a delicate drink and classy. It has the best elements of a VS cognac, such as freshness, yet with the complexity of an XO, or “Extra Old” cognac.
With this combination, Ferrand is suitable for mixing or sipping on its own.
Kelt Cognac is produced entirely from grapes from the Champagne region of France. This variable makes it a very traditionally-made pure cognac brand. The company also has a tradition of sending each of its oak casks on a boat. This princess is called the “Tour du Monde”, or ocean maturation which moves the liquid in the casks for a more even aging process.
The flavor profile of a bottle of Kelt includes grape, tropical fruits, hazelnuts, and walnut—it is the trademark of their brand.
Here are answers to some questions you might have about cognac.
What is cognac?
Cognac is a type of brandy. It was named Cognac due to the commune it came from in France and is made wine region of Charente and Charente-Maritime.
How do you drink cognac?
Cognac is an aperitif, so it can either be drunk neat (as intended), by adding water or in a cocktail.
Is cognac brandy?
Cognac is distilled from the juices of fruits, just as brandy is. The difference is that Cognac is from the southwestern region of France, where white grapes are used instead of other varieties of fruits.
What does cognac taste like?
If you’ve had brandy, Cognac tastes very much like it. But if you haven’t, cognac has a sweet and spicy flavoring, with fruits, flowers, and wood notes.
How is cognac made?
Cognac is made from twice-distilled white grape wines using copper pot stills and french oak casks. When inside the barrels, the cognac must be aged for two years or longer.
Is cognac whiskey?
No, cognac is made differently than whisky. Whisky is made of grains while cognac is a grape liquor more similar to wine.
What color is cognac?
Cognac has a brown tint with earth-like quality to its color. There are even hints of red in some cognacs.
What is cognac made from?
Cognac comes from white grapes.
How many calories are in cognac?
Does cognac go bad?
Cognac does not go bad. It can remain on your drink shelf for any number of years. It’s best to keep it from heat sources or direct sunlight though, and if your cognac develops a weird smell, taste, or look, it’s best to buy a new bottle.
Is cognac gluten-free?
Cognac is gluten-free, but if there are any additives to your cognac, there could be gluten in them, so be careful.
What can you mix with Cognac?
Though Cognac is intended to be sipped, it is great in mixed drinks also.
Some favorite mixers of cognac include:
- Iced Tea
- Tonic water
- Soda water
Best cognac brands: Conclusion
A good cognac takes a lot of time to make correctly, and it is important to know more about some of these top cognac makers around the world to enjoy them too—and maybe even find your new favorite cognac brand.